Lakbay Norte 2: Kapuluan Vista Resort

Day 3 of Lakbay Norte 2b ends at Kapuluan Vista Resort in Ilocos Norte. While the group will continue on to Adams, this is my last stop with the group, as I need to fly back to Manila the following day. It was dark when we finally rolled into Mairaira, and we were all speculating just how bad the weather would be in the coming days, judging by the fierce winds.

Kapuluan Vista Resort
Kapuluan Vista Resort

What we Manileños thought as typhoon signal number 3 was merely the amihan or the northeast monsoon that whips around the region this time of the year. The gale, coupled with a light drizzle was enough to plant paranoid thoughts into our minds. Our previous experience with the rains in Cagayan did not help to ease our worry.

Kapuluan Vista Resort Deluxe Hotel Room
Kapuluan Vista Resort Deluxe Hotel Room

Jumping out of the bus, our way to the resort’s entrance was lit only by the headlights. We walked as fast as we dared, careful not to slip on the wet floor. Inside, we were welcomed warmly by the resort’s crew, led by owners Mike and Alma Oida. The young Filipino-American couple has been running the resort since 2006, back when there was hardly any developments in the area (there are still hardly any developments in Blue Lagoon). It has since been a favorite amongst those who have stayed (they even managed to impress Market Man) or dropped by for a meal.

Lakbay Norte 2 14
Deluxe room toilet

While the East-meets-West design of the buildings and rooms are certainly unique and appealing, as well as its location in Mairaira cove are clear winners in any traveler’s book, it was the people of Kapuluan that makes you appreciate the place even more. Everybody in the resort is so friendly, from the owners to the staff, even down to the two resident toy poodles, Drew and Julia.

Mike and Alma Oida of Kapuluan Vista Resort
Owners Alma and Mike Oida

Another thing that draws people to Kapuluan Vista Resort is its restaurant. Serving a variety of unique and healthy dishes usually featuring ingredients from the resort’s organic garden, the restaurant not only have great food, but great drinks as well. The welcome margarita that is laced with lambanog instead of the usual tequila or vodka was a big hit to those who tried, while dinner was met with plenty of pleasant murmurs of praise (after taking a gazillion photos of each plate, of course). The most memorable food for me though, was the resort’s take on the buko pandan. Fresh coconut meat strips and pandan flavored jelly are put on top of homemade vanilla ice cream, instead of the heavy and sickeningly sweet cream-condensed milk concoction that traditionally makes up this local dessert.

Kapuluan Vista Resort
It may look blah, but that fish and liempo are among the best I’ve tasted

The restaurant also serves as the common area of the resort where guests can chill out and go online (because it’s the resort’s only Wi-fi zone). Another way to pass the time is learning (or in our case, re-learning) how to play sungka, or if you’re into active pursuits, learn how to surf.

Kapuluan Vista Resort buko pandan
Yummy buko pandan

Kapuluan was the perfect end to my Lakbay Norte 2, even if we weren’t able to enjoy the white sand beaches of Pagudpud. The yummy food, the great company, the warm reception from the owners, the attentiveness of the staff and the adorable Julia made the 12-hour stay memorable.

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Kapuluan Vista Resort
Sitio Baniaran, Barangay Balaoi
Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte
Phone: +639209522528, +639209285273

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Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 15 Comments
  1. i didn’t know that there’s such accomodation/resort in that part of our country… poor me.. thanks for sharing… =D

    E2, na pala ang last part ng lakbay Norte series mo? can’t wait for the next one…
    I learned a lot from your posts, i’ll be visiting Ilocos Norte next month and Cagayan in November, this series will really help me a lot… thanks again!

  2. Congrats natapos din, ito ba yung trip nyo dati bago kayo pumunta ng Naga?

  3. Peter says:

    Kapuluan Vista is love! One of the best places to stay at in Pagudpud :)

  4. Ed says:

    sarap tignan ng dessert nina!

  5. Sold! It looks like such a lovely place.

  6. nagutom ako. haha wow at naimpress tlga si marketmanila, ibig sabihin masarap nga! :)

  7. Ken says:

    Hi Nina! We missed you immensely at the second half of the trip! Anyways, Mike & Alma (the owners of Kapuluan Vista) are so adorable! even their daughter is! :D during the 5th day of lakbay norte, we met Mike again during dinner (coincidentally, as the place we went to is owned by a friend of his, too!) :D

  8. wow. that bowl of buko pandan looks yummy!

  9. Hhmm…the foods are yummy!. nakakagutom. Nice blog, I will include your visited places on my list. :)

  10. Rizalenio says:

    I suddenly miss their dog. The last time we went there, lahat kami may photos carrying their dog.

  11. Foundry says:

    I will be over their in a couple of days and your review has made me want to check the place out.

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